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State ID cards will be strongly opposed - Ó Caoláin

14 January, 2006

Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has described as "outrageous" plans by the British government to impose compulsory State identity cards on all residents of the Six Counties and for the Irish Government to follow suit in its jurisdiction. Commenting on news that the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Michael McDowell is to meet his British counterpart on this issue, Ó Caoláin said:

"The Irish Government must stand up to Britain on the outrageous proposal by the British government to impose compulsory identity cards in the Six Counties. Minister McDowell is due to meet his British counterpart Charles Clarke on this issue soon.

"Unbelievably, Minister McDowell has said that if the British introduce this card then the Irish Government will bring in a similar card in its own jurisdiction.

"Given the common travel area, the information on any 26-County data base would end up being shared with the British authorities. The British must be told that it is totally unacceptable for their state to impose these cards in any part of Ireland. Given the record of British state forces in passing information to loyalist murder gangs we can only imagine how they would misuse such a massive data base on all residents not only in the Six Counties but throughout Ireland. Sinn Féin will strongly oppose this effort to impose, at massive cost in public money, compulsory police-state style identity cards in this country, North or South."

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